26ac_logoMaribor, Slovenia, 15 - 17 May 2008


Conference Picture Gallery 
Welcome address of Mr. Franc Kangler, Mayor of Maribor 
Letter from Mr. Anton Guzej, Director General, RTV Slovenia 
Welcome address of Mr. Zoran Medved, Senior editor, TV Maribor




May 15th 2008


Opening Session

At the opening session Anita Bhalla, President of Circom Regional presented what will take place at this year´s conference. She emphasized the importance of connectivity between local and global story content, and she also thanked the organizers for their preparation of the conference.
In the continuation also conference host Zoran Medved and the Mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler expressed their warm welcomes to the participants. The latter presented the beauties of the city and invited the participants to visit the city and its surroundings.



Plenary: EU Policy is Survival, Growth or Decline of Public Service Broadcasting

The objective of this plenary was to debate the position of the EU on public broadcasters. The audience raised some interesting points about individual regional public broadcasters and introduced the difficulty´s they are facing. The evolving competition between commercial and public broadcasters was discussed by the participants. Speaker Therry Vissol commented on the current situation and introduced the new EU proposal of the European Commission on public broadcasting.



Workshop 1: Regional Sport is more than a Game

The general idea of the lecture was how to make a sports event as interesting as possible for audiences at home. Conference guest Dirk Froberg received great attention because his documentary film is the best example of how an ordinary man, suffering from middle age crisis and with some bad habits, can achieve success in sports and thus make his whole family happy. This incited a very interesting discussion regarding women´s football and why it can be so much more interesting than men´s. Participants concluded the lecture with numerous interesting questions, which added spice to such a dynamic discussion.



Workshop 2: Regional Broadcasting on Mobile Devices

At a workshop about broadcasting regional television programs via mobile devices Catherine Bomeisl, CIRCOM Deputy Secretary General, highlighted Italy, Finland, Albania, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland as being those European countries that have already launched mobile TV. Professor Gerhard Eitz presented mobile TV as an opportunity for changing the passive audience into an active one with the help of user friendly devices, which render many functions. To complete the presentation Andres Eben and Tobias Hellmuth from the Fraunhofer Institute presented the three main functions of these devices, which combine Internet, television and mobile services. As an assurance that these devices have become more than just prototypes, the moderator Peter Sauer, General Secretary of Circom Regional, emphasized that on the market at this present time there already exists a device that supports this type of technology, the mobile telephone Nokia N77. The talk was brought to an end with an actual showing of the Nokia mobile telephone.



Plenary: Idea´s Bazaar

At the beginning of the the Idea´s Bazzar the chair Michael Lally ´took´ the participants to a bazaar somewhere in Cairo or Marrakesh. He explained the main purpose of the Plenary was to explore ideas and to talk about them. Despite the fact that after each of the eight presentations there were not many questions asked, the audience was inspired and intense discussions continued during the coffee break. Ideas ranged from the Dutch RTV Noord´s You Tube channel with its more than two and a half milion visitors to the BBC´s big screen network for watching sports events. As was said in the conclusion TV broadcasters have to share ideas more and to be aware that they are not working to serve themselves but to serve their audiences.



The award ceremony was very impressive and diverse, with great musical inputs and great contributions by the winners. The hosts of the evening were Tajda Lekše and David Loewan, who carried out the program in Slovene and English. Musical contributions where done by a band named Patetico, female choir Carmina Slovenica, Terafolk´s Bojan CVe and Klemen Braško and the Ballet Company of SNG Maribor with Bojan Gorišek and Milko Lazar. A thank you speech that stood out the most was made by the winner in the category Most Original Programme Cezary Ciszewski, who said that mobile phones will shake the television scene. The ceremony was produced by Regional RTV Center Maribor.


May 16th 2008


Plenary: Meet the Winners

Today the winners had one more chance to present their work. Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to see all the winners´ works because not all of them were present. The majority were works which we can see via television but we should not forget about the website winner! The main winner for the documentary film was Ayelet Bargur from Israel.


Workshop 1: ESA.tv – What brought me ESA after 9 months

Young journalists from 14 different countries, who met last year in Nürnberg to attendant a four weeks training where they learnt about new filming procedures, directing and designing picture material for the news, reunited at this year’s conference in Maribor. At the workshop they first presented short films they had made during their training program in Germany. After that they spoke about their experiences in the field of journalism and emphasized that friendship is what they remember the best. New contacts are the links that will help them in their future career.


16-3Workshop 2: New Alternatives for Professional Broadcasting: Open Source Community Software, Linux and much more
At the beginning of the workshop on Open Source Community Software the chair Zoran Medved questioned everybody about the level of usage of Open Source Software. It was obvious that not many participants know about the concept and the usage of this kind of software. The film ´Elephants dream´ showed the possibility of Hollywood style animation with Open Source Software. In the next part of the workshop the Slovenian film and TV director Amir Muratović demonstrated the practical usage of the Open Source Video editing Application Cinelerra. Some of the participants showed so much interest in that part that the Questions and Answers session was brought forward. During his presentation Klemen Robnik from Cyberpipe showed some statistics about the usage of Open Source Software in the film and broadcasting industry. He told the participants that Hollywood is also based on this kind of software. At the end of the workshop one of the participants said that the main goal of the search for necessary infrastructure should be to cut costs and to increase the quality of television production. He was of the opinion that the best solution is actually Open Source Software. 



Plenary: The New Balance: Future challenges for Broadcast Journalism in a fragmented global world

The speaker Wally Dean presented some of the most important changes and trends in Broadcasting Journalism. For example he pointed out that the fragmentation of the audience is increasing, Internet usage in journalism is more frequent and that more information content is available but is thinner. He also gave some advice on how to be more efficient as a journalist by saying: The viewership is less influenced by what is covered- and more by how it is covered. To conclude he gave some examples, first a couple of reports with mistakes and then the two reports corrected, while doing this he also asked for audience co-operation. 


16-5Workshop 1: Regional Drama: from a Whisper to a Scream
How can smaller regional television stations get financial means for making dramas? Micheal O Domhnaill said it is important to include specialties from a region in drama films, from characteristics to dialects. He presented a short film which focused on Irish teenagers in which the producer tried to include them in the life of Irish media. Susanne Kvartforth, representative of Swedish television, also presented a short film from social life and added that in regional dramas the local language of a specific region is most important. Will Trotter, BBC Executive Producer presented a project, on how to produce a series of films on a low financial budget (doctor as confessor). At the end of a very intensive workshop, Lelda Ozola from Latvia presented some ways on how smaller television stations can assure financial means for regional drama. She proposes that means are obtained from other sources. Assuring financial means was tipants of the workshop added that in dealing with minorities we must take into consideration the standards of good taste and the legislation of individual countries.


16-6Workshop 2: The Alienation of the Other in European Regional Journalism – Creating Understanding or Conflict?
Speakers presented some proposals for establishing harmony within media dialogue with minorities. Agnieska Borowska with an example of English humour about Poles exposed just how important it is to know who we are speaking to – the English should not joke about the Poles, but the Poles should joke about themselves. Katalin Barsony as a representative of the European Roma journalists is convinced that the number of reports with minority content should be increased in which it is necessary to become familiar with the problems of the minorities and to become friends with their representatives. The next speaker Tim Johnson emphasized the importance in suitable media presentation of the minorities, taking into consideration accompanying music, the effect of which can be extremely manipulative. Participants of the workshop added that in dealing with minorities we must take into consideration the standards of good taste and the legislation of individual countries.


May 17th 2008


Plenary: Young Journalist Workshop and Diplomas

Nineteen young journalists finished their training today by presenting the work they did in the last two weeks. The trainees had a week to work on the concept and the idea of the project by learning the theoretical background of journalistic work. In the second part they had six hours time to film the report and then again the same time to edit it. Michael Delahaye explained that during the training the emphasis was put on journalism, structure of reporting and writing to picture. The trainees were given diplomas at the end and we could see a lot of sad faces because they have to leave this amazing experience behind them and go home!



Plenary: 25th Anniversary of CIRCOM Regional – Remembering Old and What is the Future

This conference was special because it was the 25th anniversary of CIRCOM Regional and the end of the 26th annual conference. The main subject of the last plenary was a review of the past, how it all began and who were those people that got CIRCOM started. Peter Sauer, Secretary of CIRCOM Regional, added what he wants the conference to achieve in the future and listed the guidelines that regional television should follow. The end of the plenary was dedicated to all those who had helped to carry out this conference in Maribor.




Closing ceremony
Zoran Medved, host of CIRCOM conference, expressed his thanks to all those who contributed to the smooth running of this year´s conference. He also announced the location of the next conference which will be in the town Groningen in the Netherlands.